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1988 Vice President Debate

Series/Special. Senators Dan Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen debate in Omaha, NE in 1988.

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America 36, Bentsen 35, Quayle 27, George Bush 19, Michael Dukakis 17, Massachusetts 15, Us 12, Dukakis 11, United States 9, United States Senate 9, Lloyd Bentsen 8, Texas 6, Mike Dukakis 6, Soviet Union 6, Jack Kennedy 5, Dan Quayle 4, Ronald Reagan 3, Jim Schlesinger 3, U.s. 3, Washington 3,
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  CSPAN    1988 Vice President Debate    Series/Special. Senators Dan Quayle and  
   Lloyd Bentsen debate in Omaha, NE in 1988.  

    October 6, 2012
    11:50 - 1:25am EDT  

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>> on the sixth day after being
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an office, we were sitting in the oval office. larry summers said, mr. president, looking at this year 's budget you will have $1 trillion deficit. he said i have not done anything yet. >> we cannot keep looking our children in the i knowing that we are going to give them a diminished future because we are spending their money today. it is a very simple idea. mitt romney and i will bring it to washington. we have got to spend -- we have got to quit spending money we do not have it. we must cut spending. we must get the debt under control. >> next thursday night, paul ryan and joe biden will face off in their only debate. you can watch and engage with c- span with our live debate it previous starting at 7:00
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followed by the debate at 9:00. your reaction, calls, and tweets. following our coverage at c- span, c-span radio, and c- span.org. >> sunday, an interview with ross perot by richadr wolf. he talks about the economy, the debt, and how it has changed since his campaign in 1992 and 1996. >> i told you, i do not want to until i go broke, you would say, whether you talking about? that is what you just said but and polished turns -- recession. he will not pay your debt if he did not have the money. if we are running your debt up, you are making it next to impossible to pay your debt. we have to do this now and start
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getting it done. it can be done if we had entered the house, the senate, and the white house have the well. they should have the full support of the american people to get it done. talks today's richard wolf's with ross perot sunday at 1:45 eastern on c-span. now, the vice presidential debate from the 1988 campaign. michael dukakis picked lloyd bentsen of texas. the two candid for about 25 years apart in age, something that provided one of the defining moments. there was held in omaha, neb.. is about one hour and 35 minutes.
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>> good evening. on behalf of the commission of presidential debates i am pleased to welcome me to the vice presidential debate. i am judy woodruff. my colleagues are tom brokaw of nbc news, and a brit hume of abc news. the importance of tonight the president is underscored by two fax. both george bush and michael bad -- michael dukakis said their running mates would reveal a lot about themselves. based on the history, there is almost a 50-50 chance that one of the men here tonight will become president of the united states. the candidates are senator dan quayle and lloyd bentsen, the democratic nominee. [applause]
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for the next 90 minutes, we will be questioning the candidates following a format designed and agreed to by representatives of the two campaigns. however, there are america rigid restrictions on the questions my colleagues and i may ask. the first question goes to senator quayle. you have to the minister responded. you have been criticized for your decision to stay out of the vietnam war, for your poor economic -- academic record. more troubling by some of the comments to have made in your own party. a separate -- secretary of the state said your peck was the dumbest mistake george bush
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could have made it. your leader added to the senate said a better qualified person could have been chosen. other republicans have been more critical in private. why do you think you have not made a more substantial impression on some of the people who have been able to observe the up close? >> the question goes to whether yes or qualified to be the vice- president. in the case of a tragedy, whether i am qualified to be president. qualifications for the office of vice president and president are not age alone. you must look at accomplishments, and the muscle that experience. i have more experience than others that have saw the office of vice-president. let's look at qualifications. let's look at the three biggest issues that are going to be confronting america. those three issues on national-
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security, arms control, jobs, education, and the federal budget deficit. on each one of the issues, i have more experience and then the governor of massachusetts. the national security and arms control, you have to understand the relationship between a ballistic missile, a warhead, what megatonnage is. the better understand about a correction. the better understand you have to negotiate from a position of strength. these are important issues because we want to have more arms control and arms deduction. i wrote the job training partnership act, a bipartisan bill to read a bill that is trained and employed over three disadvantaged youths and adults of enter this country. i have worked 80 years on the senate budget committee. i wish that the congress would
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give us a line item veto to help deal with that. qualifications a lot are going to be the issue in this campaign, george bush has more qualifications that george bush and michael dukakis combined. [applause] >> 11 interrupt and ask once again that the audience please keep your responses as quiet as possible. we know many of these are simply one -- for simply one candidate or another. you're taking time away from one candidate or another. please, senator bentsen, you have one minute to respond. >> this debate is not about the qualifications for the vice- president say. the debate is whether or not
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lloyd bentsen and dan quayle are qualified to be president of the united states. as you have sex, that has happened too often in the past -- as you have said it, that has happened too often in the past. running this great country of ours, to take over the awesome responsibility for commanding the military this country has. the debate is a debate about the presidency itself and a presidential decision that has takes made by you, the state' could not be higher. >> what bothers you -- what bothers many as not your qualifications, he has said he does not want a clown of
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himself. you disagree with some major issues. if you had to step into the presidency, whose agenda would be pursued, yours or his? >> i am delighted to respond to that question. we agree on so many things. we agree on the fact that we have to cut the deficit. the gov. dukakis has been able to cut the budget 10 decades in a row in the state of massachusetts. that is a major sense of achievement. i admire that. iticket with him. gov. dukakis and i agree that we ought to have a government trade policy. that they move this country from the no. 1 lennar -- #one lender
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nation in the world to the number one bar were. the this country is exported to many jobs and not enough products. as i worked to pass a trade bill in the united states senate, they through roadblocks in the way every step of the way. but we passed a trade bill the had this premise. that any country that has full access to our markets, we are entitled to full access to their markets. that means we will stand tough for america and we will protect those jobs and we will push american products and we will open up markets around the world. we will show leadership in that respect. and turn this deficit and trade around. that is the sort of thing that michael dukakis and i will do to bring about a better america for older people.
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>> senator quayle, a minute to respond. >> senator bentsen did not tell you very much about what gov. dukakis will do. donor do catkins, one of the most liberal governors in america. he has raised taxes five times. he just raised taxes last year. that is why i love people refer to him as tax hike mike. that is why they refer to the state of massachusetts as tax achussetts. i don't blame senator bentsen for not talking about michael dukakis. his talking more about his record. i had to blame the federal policies of -- the liberal policies of michael dukakis, i wouldn't do that either. >> you have the to protect the
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social security trust fund. but you must know that there's something to the argument of your fellow democrat bob strauss that some strain on security growth is needed or to tax social secure benefits as regular income. you spoke for a six-month delay on cost of milk -- cost-of- living increases. are you and gov. dukakis using this issue politically rather than dealing with it responsibly? >> social security is an issue where senator quayle voted eight times. they tried to cut the benefits for 62-year of retirees by 40%.
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they tried to do and and run on socials record when they first came in after promising not to cut it, -- on social security when they first came in after promising not to cut it. at that point, they tried a $40 billion and run to cut social security. the record is clear. we saw was president bush fly back from the west coast to break a tie in the united states senate. he does not get to vote her often in the senate, but he made a special trip to come back and vote against a cost-of-living increase. when you talk about social security, the people who will protect it are the democrats that brought forth that program. i think it is very important that we not see these kinds of and runs by this administration when they talk about the fact
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that there will continue to cut this budget. i know too well with their track record is and should be concerned about that kind of an effort once again after the election is over. >> senator bentsen, you know that i did not vote to cut social security eight times. but what we have voted for it to delay the cost-of-living adjustments. senator bentsen two times in the united states senate voted to delay the cost of living adjustment to the governor of massachusetts supported a resolution to delay the cost of living adjustment. and john, you are right. the uses for political advantage. they tried to scare the old people in this country time and time again. that is the politics of the past. in 1983, republicans and democrats dropped their political swords. in a bipartisan effort, they
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saved the social security system. republicans and democrats abandoned theater because we know that this program is not a republican program, and it is not a democrat program. it is an american program. >> since coming to the senate, you have voted against environmental protection legislation about two-thirds of the time. against pesticide controls and toxic waste superfund and helping safety protection from nuclear waste. do you consider yourself an environmentalist? if you do, how do you reconcile that with your voting record? >> i have a very strong record on the environment in the united states senate. [laughter] i have a record where i voted for the superfund legislation. ayei have a record or i voted against my president on the override of the clean water act.
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i have voted for the major pieces of environmental legislation that have come down and have been voted on in the united states senate. this administration -- and i support this administration in its environmental effort -- has moved into the area for the first time to deal with the ozone problem. we now have an international treaty that is commonly referred to as the montreal treaty. for the first time, we're talking about the impact of co2 on the ozone layer. that is progress on the environment. we are committed to the environment. i take my children hiking and fishing, walking in the woods, the wilderness. believe me, we have a commitment to preserving the environment. you cannot help but think of the environmental policy of the governor of massachusetts. he talks about being an environmentalist. let me tell you about his
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environmental policy. the boston harbor, which is the dirtiest water way in america, tons of raw sewage go in there each and every day. what does the governor of missouri what has the governor massachusetts done about that? virtually -- what has the governor of massachusetts done about that? virtually nothing. then he has the audacity to go down to new jersey. he has the nerve to dump waste off the coast of new jersey. who has the environment interests? george bush and i do. >> this late conversion is interesting to me. [laughter] [applause] he talks about boston harbor and he says he's not done anything. the fact is that the has a $6 billion program under way on waste treatment and it was this administration that cut out the money early on to be able to clean up water and it impossible
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to move ahead at that time on boston harbor. the democratic party is the authors of clean water, clean air, the superfund. i played a major role in passing the superfund legislation. and every environmental organization that i know, every major one, has now endorsed the dukakis-bentsen ticket. and i am one who just received the environmental war in texas for the work to have done to clean up the bays, clean up the water off the coast of texas. i think we know well who will help clean up this environment. the record is there. the history is there. and dukakis and bentsen will be committed to that. [applause] >> senator quayle, there has been a lot of talk about family. that was a principal theme in your acceptance speech. i would like to ask about the 65 million american children who live with their families in poverty. i would like you to describe to
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the lotus the last time you may have visited with one of those families personally and had you explain to that family your votes against the school breakfast program, the school lunch program, and the expansion of the child immunization program. [applause] >> i have met with those people and i met with them in fort wayne, indiana at the food bank. you may be surprised. they did not ask those questions on those votes because they're glad that i took time out of my schedule to go down and talk about how we will get food bank going so they can be sure that a food bank goes into fort wayne, indiana. i have a very good record and the commitment to the core, to those -- to the poor, to those got a family. this administration and the george administration will be committed to eradicating
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poverty. poverty has not gone up in this administration. it has not gone down much either. that means in a big challenge ahead of us. but let me tell you something, what we have done for the poor. what we have done for the poor is we passed the homeless bill. the mckinney act deals with homeless. the congress has cut the funding for the administration -- the congress has cut the funding that the administration has recommended. the biggest thing we have done the poverty in america is t tax simplification act of 1986. 6 million working poor families got off the payrolls. they are off of the tax-paying payroll because of that tax reform and they're keeping the tax money there. to help the poor, will have a commitment to the programs and those programs will go on and we're spending more in poverty programs today than we were in
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1981. that is a fact. the poverty program we will concentrate on is creating jobs and opportunities so that everyone will have the opportunities that they want. >> senator bentsen, your response. >> i find that very interesting. because he has been of no help at all when it comes to passing the most major welfare reform bill in the history of our country, one where we're working very hard to see that people can get off welfare, break that cycle, take a step up in life, learn the kinds of things that we did there to let them have medicaid for a year. that is a positive thing. what also frustrates me with the kind of report i just heard here is the kind of votes that he has passed against john nutrition programs. the fact that he has the tydeus me that we needed for further immunization, the denial of polio shots for kids of the
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parents who cannot afford to get those shots. i believe -- i do not believe that is identifying with the concerned people in poverty. >> i want to identify your differences with michael dukakis. the copper is one of the controversial issues in foreign aid policy. you seem to be diametrically opposed on that. in a closed session of the u.s. senate, you made one of the most eloquent speeches on behalf of contra aid that anyone has made in the eight years of the reagan term. threat that to the fat the sandinista regime could pose to texas. >> gov. dukakis and i have disagreed on the contra program. no question about that. but my big difference with this
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administration is they look at the contra aid program as the only way to resolve that poor -- a problem. they concentrate on that. i think we need to give peace a chance. that is why i have been a strong supporter of the ideas plan, a plan that won the nobel prize for the president of costa rica. i believe you have to work with leaders of those other central american countries and tried to bring about the democratization of nicaragua by negotiation, by pressure, by diplomatic pressure, that we ought to be trying that first appeared but in concentrating so much only on the contras, this administration has not paid enough attention on the rest of central america. we have a country of 85 million people sharing a 2000-mile border with the spirit with half of those people under the age of 15. a country that has had its standard of living cut by 50% in
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the last six years. we ought to be concerned about that and we ought to be involved. i was born and reared on that mexican border. i speak their language. i spent a good part of my life down there. gov. dukakis speaks spanish, too. he spent a great deal of time in central and south america. we believe we ought to be working together with a new alliance and bringing in other countries to help bringing the europeans, the spanish who have a real affinity, bringing in the japanese who have a great capital surplus now under looking for places to invest. those are the policy things i think we can do to bring about peace in that area, to help raise the standard of living and give them the kind of stability where democracy can perceive and can prosper and bloom. those the kinds of things that we would be committed to in a dukakis-bentsen administration to make this world a better place in which to live. >> senator quayle, your response.
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[applause] >> there is no doubt that in a dukakis aide ministration, the aid would be cut out to the contras in nicaragua. that is disappointing. understand is why it is ok for russia to give money for the sandinistas but it is somehow wrong for america to give money to the opposition. senator bentsen talked about the entire central america. that is another issue that is wrong one, which is grenada. he criticized a rescue mission in grenada. he criticized the that, yet 85% of the american people supported our rescue mission and we turned a communist country into a non-communist country. the governor of massachusetts is simply out of step with mainstream america. [applause]
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>> i am sort of the cleanup man in this order. i have been asked by my colleagues to deal with a name that is left on base. senator bentsen, i want to ask you a question about the pac money. gov. dukakis has tried to make ethics a major issue in the campaign. he has you as a running mate, him and who leads league in last count in the receipt of pac money, that being the money raised by the special interest organizations. that is the kind of campaign financing that gov. dukakis finds so distasteful that he has refused to except any. do you find that embarrassing, senator? >> not at all. you have to remember that pac money is the result of the last campaign reform bill, one that talks about employees having participation. what i have done with that money is just what my opponent and my
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campaign has done in his campaign. he has been raising pac may, too. what you have to do is comply with the laws as they are, whether you're paying taxes were you are playing a football game. whether you like those laws are not, you comply with them. i have been for campaign reform and have pushed it very hard. i believe we have to do some things in that regard. but i have noticed that the senator of indiana has opposed the campaign reform and voted repeatedly against it. the things we have to do, i believe, that will cut back on soft money, for example, which i look on as frankly one of those things that we have had to do because the republicans have done it for so long. i think it is a loophole, frankly. but campaign reform, changing the rules of the game, is something that we tried repeatedly in this session of the congress, but only to have the republicans' lead the charge against the ndp does. i respect senator quayle would
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change his mind on that piece of legislation and give us the kind of campaign reform law that i think is needed in america. >> senator quayle, your response. >> senator bentsen is the number one pack razor. he used to have a temper the dollar's breakfast club. [applause] it only cost high paid lobbyists and special interest in washington to have breakfast with the chairman of the senate finance committee, the one who oversees all the tax loopholes and the tax code. $10,000. i am sure there were not paying to have cornflakes. [laughter] i will tell you the kind of campaign reform i am supporting, and i think it is time to get rid of pac money. supporter legislation were would totally eliminate many by special interest and political action committees and have the individual contribute and the political parties contributed that is the kind of campaign reform that republicans are for.
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they want to get rid of special- interest money and rely on individuals and political parties. >>[applause] >> once again, let me caution the audience. please, keep your reactions to as quiet as possible. >> i want to talk with you about the essential -- the apprehension that some people feel that you're a heartbeat away from the presidency. when that moment came, what would be the first steps you take and why? >> first, i would say a prayer, for mylf, for the country that i am about to lead. then i will assemble his people and talk. i think this question keeps going back to the qualifications and what kind of vice-president in this
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hypothetical situation -- if i had to assume responsibility of the president, what i would be. as i said, aid alone, although i can tell you, after the experience of these last few weeks in the campaign, i have added 10 years to my age -- days alone is not the only qualification -- age alone is not only qualification. yet look at experience. have i made a difference in the united states senate where i have served for eight years? yes, i have. have i made a difference in the congress? yes, i have. as i said before, looking at the issue of qualifications, i am delighted that it comes up. because of the three most important challenges facing america, arms control and national security, jobs and education, and budget deficit, i have more experience and accomplishments than does the
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governor of massachusetts. i have been in the congress. and i worked on these issues. believe me, when you look at arms control and trying to deal with the soviet union, you cannot come at it from me 94 position. you have to understand -- from a naive position. you have to understand the soviet union. this has given me the experience to deal with the soviet union and how we can move forward. that is just one of the troubling issues that will be facing this nation. and i am prepared. >> senator bentsen. >> i cannot leave something on the table that he has charged me with. so let's get to that one. when you talk about the breakfast club, that was perfectly legal. i formed it and i closed it down almost immediately because i thought the perception was that. [laughter] but it is the same law that let
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you invite high-priced lobbyists down to williamsburg. bring them down there and entertain them playing golf, playing tennis, and bringing republican senators down there in exchange for contributions to their campaign. it is the same kind of law that allows you to have on brilliance -- to have honore aliums. you can raise millions of dollars and you can spend it on whatever you want to. that is why we need campaign reform laws and why i support them. you, in turn, have voted against them time and time again. [applause] >> question for senator quayle. >> in recent years, the reagan administration has scaled back
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-- the budget for the agency has been cut by 20% and the number of inspections at manufacturing plants have been reduced by 33%. this has had a special effect in this area where many people work in the meatpacking industry which has a far higher rate of serious injuries than almost any other injury, which appears to have been rising, although we're not really sure. some of the largest companies have allegedly been falsifying reports. would you to acknowledge to the hundreds of maimed and injured people in the midwest that coming in this case, the regulation may have gone too far and the government must assert itself in protecting workers' rights? >> the premise of your question, john, is that somehow this administration has been lax in enforcement of osha regulations. and i disagree with that. i will tell you why. if you want to ask some business people that i too -- that i talk
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to periodically, they complain about tough enforcement of this administration. furthermore, let me tell you this for the record. when we have found violations in this administration, there have not only been tough enforcement, but there have been the most severe penalties, the largest penalties in the history of the department of labor when these violations have been found. there is a commitment and will always be a commitment to the safety of our working men and women. they deserve it and we are committed to them. the broader question goes to the whole issue of deregulation. and has deregulation work or has it not work. in my judgment, deregulation has worked. we have a deregulated economy and we have produced by low
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taxes, not high taxes, deregulation, the spirit of entrepreneurship, the individual starting a business, the businessman or woman willing to go out and risk their investments to start a business and hire people. we have produced 17 million jobs in this country since 1982. deregulation as a form of political philosophy is a good philosophy. it is one that our opponents disagree with. they want to centralize government. but we believe in the market. we believe in the people. and, yes, there is a role of government. and that is to make sure those safety and health and welfare of the people is taking care of. and we will continue to do that. >> when think you see once again a piece of democratic legislation that has been passed to try to protect the working men and women of america and then you see an administration that came in and did not have its part in that kind of enforcement.
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the environmental protection laws were talking about a moment ago, this and -- this administration came in and put in a james lott and -- that is really the bonnie and clyde of environmental protection. some put their profits before people. that is what you have to have osha. that is what you have to have tough and good and fair enforcement of it. and that is what a democratic administration would do, to try to make is working place a safer and better place to be employed. >> senator bentsen, since you have been in the senate, government has spent increasing amounts of money in an effort to protect the family farmer. most of the subsidies seem to go to the largest and richest farmers who presumably need it least while the smaller farmers are often forced to sell out,
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sometimes to their large former neighbor who has gotten more subsidies to begin with. despite the fact that i believe you are a large farmer yourself, do you believe it is time to uncouple the city formally from the kind of land from has and transfer it to the small and medium-sized farmers? >> i voted for that. i voted for the 50,000 limitation to get away from the million dollar contributions to farmers. i am the only one was born and reared on the farm and am still involved in farming. i think and stand their concerns and their problems. i feel very strongly that we ought to be doing more for the american farmer and what we have seen from this administration is a neglected that farmer. we have seen them drive 220,000 farmers off the farm. they seem to think that the answers to move into town. would you have seen them do is
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cut farm assistance for rural areas by more than 50%. they see rural hospitals closing all of the country because of this kind of an administration. it is an administration that has lost most of the market abroad because they have not had a trade policy. we saw our market loss by some 40%. that is one of the reasons why we have seen the cost of the farm program, which was only about two $0.5 billion when they took office now goes to about $25 billion. we can bring that kind of cost of down and get more to market prices if we'll have a good trade policy. i was in january visiting with mr. -- the new prime minister japan. i said you are paying five times for beef and what we pay for in our country, six times as much for rice. you have a $60 billion trade surplus with us. you can improve the standard of living of your people. you're spending 27% of
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disposable income on food. we spend 14% or 15%. when you have that kind of a barrier against us, that is not free and fair trade. and we don't think that should continue. we would be pushing very hard to open up those markets and stand up for the american farmer and see that we recapture those foreign markets. i think we can do it. [applause] >> senator bentsen talks about recapturing the foreign markets. i tell you one way we want, if we have another jimmy carter grain embargo. [applause] and jimmy carter grain embargo -- green embargo set the american farmer back. everyone% -- it every 1% increase inflation, another
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billion dollars. anotr thing that farmers are not interested in is supply management did but the governor of massachusetts has a farm program. he went to the farmers of the midwest and told not to grow corn, not to grow soybeans but to grow belgian endive. that is what he and his harvard buddies think of the american farmer. grow belgian endive, to come in and tell our farmers not to grow corn, not to grow soybeans, that is the kind of foreign policy will get under a dukakis administration, and one of the american farmer will rightly rejected >> a question for senator bentsen. >> you are a businessman before you entered the u.s. senate. lower interest rates, lower unemployment, lawrence simons did lower inflation -- and lower inflation could now they come to your door and said they don't
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-- and lower inflation. now they come to your door and say they want you to change. why would you except that -- what would you accept that? this is an administration that has more than doubled the national debt. they have done that in less than eight years. they have taken this country from the number one lender nation in the world to the number one debtor nation in the world. and the interest on that debt next year on this reagan-bush debt of our nation will be $640 for every man, woman and child in america because of this kind of a credit-card mentality. so we go out and we tried to sell our securities every week. and hope that they will buy them. and they do buy them. but every time they do, we lose some of our economic independence for the future. now have turned around and
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bought 10% of the manufacturing base of this country that have 20% of the banks. they own 46% of the commercial real estate. they are buying america on the cheap. when we have other countries that cannot manage their economy down in central and south america, we send down the american ambassador. we send down the international monetary fund and we tell them what they can buy and what they can sell and how to run their economies. the ultimate irony is to have that happen to us because foreigners finally quit buying your securities. so what we need in this country is someone like mike dukakis who gave 10 balanced budgets in a row and was able to do that, meet that of a commitment, set the stuff priorities. we need an administration that will turn this trade policy around and open those markets, stand tough with our trading partners to help keep the jobs
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at home and send products abroad. >> senator bentsen talks about running up the debt. the governor of massachusetts has run up more debt than all the governors in the history of massachusetts combined going back to the days of the pilgrims. i do believe that that is the kind of policy that we want. the question went to the heart of the matter. tom, you lost the question -- why would we changed? we have changed since 1980. we have interest rates down. we have inflation down. people are working again. america is held in respect of again around the world. but we will build on that change. and as we made those changes of lower interest rates and lower inflation, the governor massachusetts fought us every step of the way. we are proud of the record of accomplishment and the opportunities and the hope of millions of americans, hope and
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opportunity of these americans is because of the policies that we have had for the last eight years and we want to build on that and change it for even the better. >> you actively supported the invasion of grenada to rescue mental students and rescue -- rescue medical students and rescue an island nation from a dictator. why not go after the drug cartels and general noriega? since in the minds of americans, they pose a far greater danger to the american people. >> you are absolutely right. the drug problem is the number- one issue. >> will you address the military aspect of it? >> i will if i may respond the drug problem is being addressed. as a matter of fact, we're using
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a coordinated effort and reconnaissance. but i don't believe that we will turn the department of defense into a police organization. we are using our military assets in a prudent way to deal with interdiction. and we have made some success in this area. 70 tons of cocaine have been stopped. but when you look at the drug problem and it is a tremendous problem and there are no easy solutions to it. it is a complicated problem in setting up the effort to try to create a drug-free america, which is a challenge and global the us, not only will utilize national defence and the department of defense. we have to get on the demand side of the ledger. we have to get the education. education ought to begin at home and it ought to be reinforced in our schools. and there is another thing that will be more important than the promise of this question on the hypothetical of using troops. we will use military assets, but
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we need to focus on another part of this problem. and that problem is law enforcement. here's where we have a major disagreement with the governor of massachusetts. he is opposed to the death penalty for drug kingpins scared we believe that people convicted of that crime deserve that belted, as sodas -- drug kingpins. we believe the people convicted of that crime deserve the death penalty. you cannot have a war on drugs -- you cannot be tough on drugs and weak on crime. >> senator bentsen. >> it is interesting to see that the senator from indiana, when we had a resolution on the floor of the united states senate sponsored by senator dole, that this government made no deal of noriega, but the senator of indiana was one of the senators who voted against it.
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it is also interesting to see that one of his campaign managers trying to help him with his image was also hired by noriega to help him with his image. [laughter] [applause] what we have seen under this administration, we have seen them using a it cabinet officers, 28 different agencies, all fighting over turf. that is one thing we direct. we put one person in charge in the war against drugs and commit the resources to get the job done. mike dukakis has been able to do that type of thing in the state of massachusetts by cutting the drug use in the high schools while it is going up around the rest of the country, by putting in a drug educational program that the drug enforcement agencies said was a model for the country. we would be doing up for the rest of the country. that is a positive attack against drugs. >> a question for senator
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quayle. let me take you back to the question i asked earlier. you said you would say a prayer and something about the meeting. what would you do next? [laughter] >> i don't believe that it is proper for me to get into the specifics of a hypothetical situation like that. the situation is that, if i was called upon to serve as the president of this country, the responsibilities of the president of this country, would i be capable and qualified to do that. i have tried to list the qualifications. 12 years in the united states congress. i have served in the congress for 12 years. i have served in the congress and served eight years on the senate armed services committee.
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i have been to geneva many times to meet with the negotiators as we were hammering out the imf treaty. i met with the western political leaders, margaret thatcher, chancellor kohl, i know them. they know me. i know what it takes to lead this country forward. and if that situation arises, yes, i will be prepared and i will be prepared to lead this country if that happens. [applause] >> senator bentsen. >> once again, what we're looking at here is someone who can step in to the presidency level at the moment if the tragedy should occur. if that were the case, you have to look at the richard of judgment and the breadth of
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experience. you have to sue a kind of leadership roles the person has played in his life before the crisis struck. then you arrive at a judgment but i think would be wise one i hope that would mean that you would say we will vote for mike dukakis and lloyd bentsen. >> question for senator bentsen. >> i want to take you back to the celebrated breakfast club when it was revealed that people paid $10,000 applied to have breakfast with you. you said it was a mistake and you disbanded it and called off the whole idea and you were widely praised for handling it deftly. if the washington post had not broken the story and other media picked up on it, what can you tell us tonight as to why we should not believe that you'd still be having those breakfasts to this day? >> i must say that i don't make many mistakes, but that was a
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real doozy. i agree with that. as you know, i immediately disbanded it. it was perfectly legal. and you have all kinds of such clubs on the hill. you know that. but i still believe that the better way to go is to have a campaign reform law that takes care of that kind of a situation even though it is legal and the perception is bad. i would push very strongly to see that we reform the entire situation. i would work for that and and that is what my friend from indiana is opposed, repeatedly, vote after vote. >> he disbanded the club but he still got the money. [applause] he is the no. 1 receiver of political action committee money. senator bentsen has talked about reform. let me tell you about the reform we're pushing. let's eliminate political action committees and special-interest money.
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there is legislation for the congress to do that. that we would have to worry about breakfast clubs or who is the number one pack razor. we can go back and get the contributions from working men and women and individuals of america. we can also strengthen our to- party system. it needs strengthening. and rely more on the political party than we have in the past. that is the kind of campaign reform that i'm for and i hope the senator will join me. >> a question for senator bentsen. >> we all just finished -- most of america has finished one of the hottest summers that it can remember. apparently, this year will be the fifth out of the last nine that have been the hottest on record. nobody knows, but most scientists believe that something that we're doing, that human beings are doing, is a source -- is exacerbating this problem. as vice president, what would you urge your government to do to deal with this problem.
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specifically, as a texan, can you support a substantial reduction in the use of fossil fuels which may be necessary down the road? >> i think what you can do and which would be very helpful is to use a lot more natural gas. it is a lot cleaner. mike dukakis has said he will try to break down the regulatory roadblocks that you have in the regulatory agency that denies much of the passage of that natural gas to the northeast. or you can fight against acid rain which is another threat because it is sterilizing our lakes, killing our fish and it is interesting to see in the resume of senator quayle that he brags on the fact that he has been able to fight the acid rain legislation. i don't think that is a proper objective to clean up this environment. we have to look for alternative sources of fuel. i supported that very strongly.
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the department of energy is one that has cut back substantially on the study of those alternative sources of fuels. we can convert corn to ethanol could i would push for that very strongly. so absolutely, i will do those things that are necessary to help the environment of our country be number one. if we don't protect that, we will destroy the future of our children. and we must be committed to try to clean up the water, clean up the air and do everything we can not only from a research standpoint, but also in the applied legislation to see that that is carried out. >> senator quayle. >> vice-president george bush has said he will take on the environmental problem. he said further that he will deal with the acid rain legislation.
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that legislation will get through the congress this year. but it will get through in a george bush administration. a georgia administration that is committed to the environment -- a george bush administration that is committed to the environment and. it is unfortunate for us to get the data in -- it is important for us to get the data in and know what we're doing. and there are some explorations and things that we can consider in this area. the drought highlighted the problem that we have. therefore, we need to get on with it. in a george bush administration, you can bet that we will. >> a question for senator quayle. >> as vice president, your most important contribution would be the advice to give the president. one of the most troubling facts that will face the new administration is the fact that the united states has now become the world's largest debtor nation.
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in 1987, foreigners under rhode our debt to the tune of two hundred $38 billion. last week, a top official of the japanese economic planning agency bragged that japan now is in a position to enforce the value of the dollar, our interest rates and even our stock prices and he wants one day maybe they will do just that. if you're the vice president of the united states and japan did that, what would you tell the president to do? >> when you look at dealing with this total problem, not just with the japanese, but the underlying question on this total world debt problem, you have got to see why we are a debtor and what is attracting the foreign investment into our country today, whether it is japanese or others. i would rather have people come over here and make investment in this country rather than going
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elsewhere. by coming over here and making investments in this country, we are seeing jobs. do you realize that today we are producing hondas and exporting hondas to japan. we are the envy of the world. the united states, some of senator bentsen's supporters lack of that because they don't believe it united states of america is the envy of the world. i can tell you that the american people think the united states of america is the envy of the world. [applause] >> senator bentsen -- oh, i'm sorry. >> we are the greatest nation in this world and the greatest
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economic power. there has been some talk in congress about forgiveness of debt, forgiveness of debt is wrong. forgiveness of international debt would be counterproductive. i would like to see those that top about forgiving debt go out and talk about the farm that is in debt and does not have his forgiven. that is not the kind of policy george bush will have. >> i told you i would do about trade and trying to help turn that situation around. but what we also should do is get them to give us more burden sharing when it comes to national defense. we have a situation today where, on a percentage basis, people in western europe are spending about one-third as much as we are in our country. then we go to japan, where we're spending 6.5% on defense for democracy, they're spending 1%. i met with some of the japanese business leaders and i said, you
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know, we have 50,000 troops here in japan protecting the democracies of asia. it costs $3.5 billion a year. you're the no. 2 economic power in the world. you ought to live up to that responsibility and carry some of that cost. we would have a big budget surplus. you'd have chaos because you get 50% of your well from -- of your oil and would not have the united states to help you. i don't understand that. >> a question for senator quayle. >> i do mean to be distant drum, but when you said it was a hypothetical situation, it is, sir, the reason we're here tonight. you're not running just for vice-president -- [applause]
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and if you cite the experience you had in congress, surely, you should have some plan in mind of what you would do. >> let me answer the question one more time. i think this is the fourth time that i have had this question. three times that i have had this question. and i will try to answer it again for you as clearly as i can. the question you're asking is what kind of qualifications does dan quayle have to be president. what kind of collocations july have and what would i would -- and what would i do in this kind of situation. and what would i do in this situation? i would make sure the people in the cabinet, the people and the advisor to the present are called in. i will talk with them and i will work with them. and i will know the money for 10 basis. as vice president, i will sit on the national security
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council. although the lifers can basis because i will be coordinating the drug effort. i will be on a first-come basis because president bush -- vice president bush will be on the face council and i will be on that. i will have day-to-day activities with all the people in government. and then come if that unfortunate situation happens, -- and then, if that unfortunate situation happens, i will be prepared to carry out the responsibilities of the presidency of the united states of america. and i will be prepared to do that. i will be prepared not only because of my service in the congress, but because of my ability to communicate and to leave. it is not just a joy it is accomplishments. it is experience. -- it is not just age. i have accomplishments and experience. i have as much experience in the
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congress as jack kennedy did when he sought the presidency. i will be prepared to deal with the people in the bush administration when that unfortunate event should ever occur. >> i served with jack kennedy. i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. [cheers and applause] what has to be done in a situation like that -- >> your only taking time from your own candidate. >> that was really uncalled for, senator. [cheers and applause] >> you're the one was making the
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comparison, senator. and i am one who knew him well. and frankly, i think you are so far apart on the objectives you choose for your country that i do not think the comparison was well taken. >> now on the question for senator bentsen. >> since you seem to be taking no hostages on the stage, i will ask you a question about the hostages still in brutal captivity in the middle east. you have been critical of the contra affair. does the dukakis ticket have a realistic plan on getting the hostages released in any due time? >> one of the toughest questions that any executive will face, you cannot help but have sympathy for that family and for those hostages themselves. the one thing we ought to know by now is that we can go out and -- they can go out and make secret deals with the ayatollah.
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it would just encourage more taking of hostages. i want to tell you that george bush attending 17 of those meetings and having no record of what he said, if lloyd bentsen was in those meetings, you would certainly hear from him and no one would be asking where is lloyd. i would be saying that is a dumb idea and now let's put an end to it. and i would speak up on that type of thing. all you can do one that is to continue to push, use every type of diplomatic pressure you can. that is what you would strive to do to have a successful release finely of those hostages. but not to encourage more taking
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of hostages. >> senator quayle. >> no doubt about that arms for hostages is wrong. it will never be repeated. we have learned by our mistakes. but there have been a number of successes in foreign policy in this administration. but the question goes to a difficult one. how you do it? no one has the answer. if they did, we would certainly do it. but we will keep trying. we will keep the doors open. hopefully, some day, iran and others to control those hostages will want to return to civilized international community and they can do that starting now. by releasing the hostages that are held illegally. >> a senator for -- a question
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for senator bentsen. >> devoted to the notion that senator quayle is not reaready r the vice presidency and nothing have said here that you think otherwise. i wonder if it is fair that you events that in view when you attended the presidency after not having completed a full term in the senate and after having served three terms in the house about a quarter of a century earlier. >> i think what you have to look at is a man who has served his country in war, head of a squadron and then served in the united states senate. and one who has been able to bring about the kind of
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legislation that i have been able to bring about in my service there. i must say that i did not do a very good job in running for the presidency. i am very well aware of that. what we're looking at today is trying to judge once again the breadth of experience and maturity of someone taking on this kind of a task. that is good judgment that has to be exercised by the people of america. it is a presidential decision you are facing and it is a very important one because we are talking about who will lead this country into its future and you cannot have a more spot -- a more important responsibility than that when. >> senator quayle? >> when you look at qualifications, when you look at accomplishments as well as experience. and one of the accomplishments that i am proudest of is the job training partnership act that
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has trained and educated and employed over 3 million young people and adults that are economically disadvantaged. and we did it in a way that we got the private sector to involve itself with the public sector. on private industry councils across america that serve over the service delivery area, we have a 51% of that private industry council their business men and women. we have members of unions. we have community-based organizations. we have education leaders. and what we have been able to do is establish a program that is working, putting people back to work. that is an accomplishment. and that is an accomplishment i will take with me into the white house. >> a question for senator quayle. >> it may be off the subject of politics but aimed to get more the question of the sort of person you are. and senator bentsen, you might enjoy the same question in your
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bottle time. can you turn to any work of literature or art or foam that you have experienced in the last two years that has a particular strong effect on you and tell us why? >> in the last six months, i think there are three very important books that i read that have had an impact..
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>> in senator lugar's book, he talked about his leadership in the philippines and south africa, where we have now seen human rights advancement on the reagan agenda. former president nixon talked about what we are going to do after detente and arms control, and how we are going to pursue new arms control with the soviet union. he talked a little bit about how we deal with the soviet union.
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and this is one of the differences between george bush and michael dukakis, because george bush understands that to deal with the soviet union and to get progress you must deal from a position of strength. and the governor of massachusetts doesn't understand that. i understand it. and a george bush administration will pursue that policy. >> senator bentsen. >> well, i think reading "winds of war" and "guns of august" back to back, i think that really shows you how we make the same mistakes too often, over and over again. and it seems to me that the senator from indiana is beginning to do that one. as i look toward our progress that's bei made in the disarmament and cutting back on nuclear weapons and see what ronald reagan has been able to do with the i.n.f. treaty, and i think he deserves great credit
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with that one. i see a situation where the senator from indiana has now jumped off the reservation when we talk about building on what ronald reagan has done and opposes what reagan wants to do, the next treaty. i think that's a mistake. i think you have to deal with the russians from strength and we have to understand that you have to have a strong modernized nuclear deterrent. but i think we can make a substantial progress and we ought to take advantage. i think he has arrived at a very dangerous judgment in the question of war and peace, and it concerns me very much. because i saw him also try to sab sabotage the i.n.f. treaty when it was on the floor of the u.s. senate with what he was doing there. he's listening once again to the winds of the radical right. >> senator. >> my light was still on, judy.
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>> john margolis, a question for senator quayle. >> senator quayle, i want to go back to the matter of qualifications, which i think for mome most people is more than just how long you have been in the senate and how long you have been in public life. there is also a question of candor and consistencey, and several of the things you said, both here and earlier, have raised some reasonable questions. each of them alone might seem rather trivial, but think create a pattern that needs to be asked. you talked a few times today about a job training partnership act which you authored. in fact, i believe you co-authored it with another senator, whom you almost never name. earlier in the campaign when you asked why you got a very -- a desk job in the national guard after being trained as a welt
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welder, you said at the time you had a very strong background in journalism, which at the time was a summer job at your family-owned newspaper, which you have not been very forthcoming about what they were. as you have not been forthcoming about your college record. nonetheless, these examples of overstatement and exaggeration and not being forthcoming, this is what has lady led a lot of people to question part of your qualifications. but your character. would you like to identify your co-sponsor of the job training partnership act? >> all in two minutes? >> sure. >> let me start with the underlying premis that i haven't
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been straight forward. i did co-author the job training partnership act. the co-author in that united states senate was senator kennedy. i was the chairman of the employment and productist committee. the chairman of the committee to write the legislation. the chairman of the committee write the legislation and then go out and get the co-sponsorship. when you are the chairman, you are the author of thafment i am proud to have been the author of that. because you know what we had? we had a ceta program that spent $50 billion from 1973 through 1982, and when we concluded that program, when we concluded that program, unemployment was higher than it was when it began. it was a program that didn't work, and the job training partnership act does work. now the issue of releasing all
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of my grades. i am, and i stand before you tonight as the most investigated person ever to seek public office. [applause] thousands of journalists have asked every professor i had, all of my teachers. they know, and i have never professed to be anything but an average student. i have never said i was anything more than that. but it is not whether you are an average student, it is what are you going to do with your life? what am i going to do with my life? i have committed it to public service since i was 29 years of age, elected to the house of representatives. elected to the united states senate when i was 33. i now have its opportunity at 41 to seek the office of the vice presidentsy.
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>> senator bentsen. >> i have absolutely no quarrel with senator quayle's military record, but i do strongly disagree with him on some of the issues. you make great patriotic speeches, and i enjoy them. but i don't understand your vote on veterans issues. senator quile -- quayle has one of the worst voting records in the united states senate on veterans issues. and one of them that particularly bothers me, sponsoring legislation to put a tax on combat pay and disability pay for veterans, for fighting men and women of america. tax on their disability pay when they are lying there in the hospital. people who have sacrificed for our country. i think you ought to explain that to the people of america, and you ought to explain it tonight. >> john, a question for senator
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bentsen. >> senator, you are chairman of the senate finance committee, and you are generally considered rather an orthodox conservative on fiscal matters, meaning someone who would be very concerned about the budget deficit. with everybody in politics afraid to mention taxes, more social security cuts, or even very much restraint in defense spending. would you now list a few spending programs which would reduce or eliminate -- which you would reduce or eliminate to cut the deficit by about $50 billion, the deficit which is expected to be around $135 billion this fiscal year. >> one of them that i worked on, and i do this as a farmer, i try to turn the situation around where we have seen the subsidy payments go from $2.5 billion to 10 times that under this administration. and the way i would accomplish that, with a tough trade policy, opening up those markets,
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getting those prices back up to market prices. we can do that if we have an aggressive trade policy for our country. if we make trade a number one priority and not trade it off for some foreign policy objective at the moment. in addition to that, we do some other things that i have -- that have to be done in so far as as doing a better job of procurement, particularly when we're talking about some of our military things that i think we should buy. i know that i have fought very hard to put in an independent inspector general for the defense department, that the senator from indiana opposed me on that. but we were finally able to put that into effect and we saved over a quarter of a billion
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dollars this year. almost enough to buy a squadron of 716's. those are the kinds of things i would work on. i would turn this trade deficit around. i would get rid of these planes that you are going to have that the administration wants that will fly from new york to tokyo and take those investment bankers over there in four hours. i don't think we can afford a piece of technological elegance like that. i would strike that sort of thing. i don't know how many people have rid -- ridden in the con cord -- concorde, not many, but i voted against it, said it would be a financial disaster, and it's been just that. >> senator.
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>> so those are the types of things i would work on. >> senator quayle? >> the way we're going to reduce this budget deficit and it's a challenge to make sure that it is reduced, is first to stick to the gramm-rudman targets. the gramm--rudman targets have worked. we've reduced the federal budget deficit $70 billion. senator bentsen voted against the gramm-rudman, the very tool that has been used to bring the federal budget deficit down. we're going to need all the tools possible to bring this federal budget deficit down. we need the tools of a line item veto. a line item veto that 43 governors in this country have but not the president of the united states. >> tom brokaw, the last question for senator bentsen.
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>> senator bentsen, i'd ask you about your split personality during the election year. you're running on the ticket with michael dukakis, a man who is opposed to the death penalty, a man who is in favor of gun control, and at the same time you're running for the united states senate in the state of texas, where your position on many of those same issues is well known, and absolutely opposed to him. how do you explain the -- to the people of texas how you can be a social conservative on those cutting issues and still run with michael dukakis on the national ticket? >> michael kudakis wasn't looking for a clone. i think it's part of the strength and the character of this land that he reaches out, and that he wants someone that will speak up, and that i'll do. i've seen many chief executives come into my office and say
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they're going over and tell the president of the united states off, they're going to pound the desk and go into that office and turn to jello. now i've dealt with many a president, and i don't hesitate for a minute to speak up. but when you're talking about something like the death penalty, where michael dukakis and i do disagree, what you really ought to get to is what's being done against crime and what kind of progress he's been able to make. in the state of massachusetts, he has a homicide rate down to the lowest in any industrial state. it's substantially ahead of the national average. he's been able to do that with an educated program for the people of the state by adding 1,500 new police officers. he's done it in tirn turn by the leadership that i think he will bring to the ticket when he becomes president of the united states.
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i'm delighted and proud to be on the ticket with him. sure we have some differences, but overall we have so many things we agree on. >> senator quayle. >> one of the things they don't green agree on is the area of national defense. national defense and how we're going to preserve the freedom of this country. michael dukakis is the most liberal national democratic to seek the office of presidency since george mcgovern. he is against the mx missile, the midgetman, cutting two aircraft carriers. he's opposed to many defense programs that are necessary to defend this country. that's why former secretary of defense and former energy secretary of the carter administration, jim schlesinger, in an open letter to "time" magazine asked governor dukakis, are you viscerally anti-military? jim schlesinger never got an
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answer. and the reason he did is because the governor of massachusetts doesn't want to answer former secretary jim schlesinger on that very important question. >> senator bentsen, i'd like to ask you about your -- >> tom, a last question for senator quayle. >> senator quayle, all of us in our lifetime encounter an experience that helps shape our adult philosophy in some form or another. could you describe for this audience tonight what experience you may have had and how it shaped our political philosophy? 4 --
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>> there are a lot of sperpses that i have had that have shaped my adult philosophy, but the one i keep coming back to time and time again, and i talk about it at commencement addresses, i talk about it in high schools. i talk about it when i visit the job training centers. it is the advice my maternal grandmother, martha pulliam, who is 97 years old, has given me. she says you can do anything you want to if you just set your mind to it and go to work. now the dukakis supporters sneer at that because it is common sense. [cheers] >> they sneer at common sense advice, mid western advice. mid western advice from a
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grandmother to a grandson. important advice. something that we ought to talk about. because if you want to, you can make a difference. you, america, can make a difference. you're going to have that choice come this election. everyone can make a difference if they want to. >> senator bentsen? >> i think being born and reared on the rio grande, to have spent part of my life seeing some of the struggles that have taken place in one of the lowest per capita incomes in the united states. and that's one of the reasons i worked so hard to try to assist on education. and when i found that the bankers in that area found that they could not handing the loans because some of the detail and
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the expense, could not make a profit on it, i went down there and helped form a nonprofit organization to buy those loans from them and manage them. now they have. they have ed -- educated more than 20,000 of those students, loaned out over a hundred million dollars. and it hasn't cost the taxpayers of this country one cent. that's why i have worked so hard on the welfare reform bill, to give them a chance to break these cycles of poverty, a chance for a step up in life. judy, something's happened. my light is still on. >> your light is not working. we're sorry about that. thank you, senator bentsen, thank you senator quayle. we have now come to the end of the questions. and before i ask the candidates to make their closing remarks, on behalf of the commission on
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presidential debates, i'd like to thank all of you for joining us. senator quayle, yures is the first closing statement. >> thank you. tonight has been a very important evening. you have been able to see dan quayle as i really am and how george bush and i want to lead this country into the future. thank you america for listening, and thank you for your fair nesms now you will have a choice to make on election day. you will have a choice of whether america is going to choose the road of michael dukakis or the road of george bush as we march toward the 21st century. the road of michael dukakis comes down to this, bigger government. higher taxes. they have always believed in higher taxes. they always have, and they always will.
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cuts in national defense. back to the old economics of high interest rates, high inflation, and the old politics of high unplimet. now, the road of george bush, the road to the future, it comes down to this. an america second to none with visions of greatness. economic expansion. tough laws, tough judges. strong values. respect for the flag and our interests tuges -- institutions. george bush will lead us to the 21st century. ronald reagan, george bush. we changed america. michael dukakis fought us every step of the way.
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not that they are not empathetic, it is simply that they will take america backwards. george bush has the experience. with me, the future. a future committed to our family. a future committed to the freedom. thank you, good night, and god bless you. [applause] >> senator bentsen, your closing statement. >> in just 34 days, america will elect new leadership for our country. it is a most important stigs. because there is no bigger job than governing this great country of ours and leading us into its future.
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michael dukakis and lloyd bentsen offer you experienced, tempered, capable leadership to meet those challenges of the future. our opposition says lower your sights, rest on your laurels. mike dukakis and lloyd bentsen think america can do better. but america can't just coast into the future, clinging to the past. this ray race is too close. the competition is too tough, and the stakes are too high. michael dukakis and lloyd bentsen think america must move into that future united in a commitment to make this country of ours the most powerful, the most prosperous nation in the world. as americans, we honor our past, and we should. but our children are going to live in the future. and mike dukakis says, the best
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of america is yet to come. but that won't happen. taking care of our economy, just putting it on automatic pilot. it won't happen by accident. it's going to take leadership, and it's going to take courage, and the commitment and a contribution by all of us to do that. i've worked for the betterment of our country both in war and peace. as a bomber pilot, as one who has been a businessman and a united states snot, working to make this nation the fairest and the strongest and the most powerful in the world. help us bring america to a new era of greatness. the debate has been hours ours, but the decision is yours. god bless you. [applause]

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